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Does Desmond Bishop's Deal With Minnesota Vikings Reflect Worry over Hamstring?

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Does Desmond Bishop's Deal With Minnesota Vikings Reflect Worry over Hamstring?

The one-year deal signed by former Green Bay Packers linebacker Desmond Bishop with the Minnesota Vikings would appear to reflect continued worry about his recovery from a serious hamstring injury.

According to Tom Pelissero of ESPN 1500, Bishop agreed to a deal worth roughly $1.5 million, with another $500,000 available through incentives. If Pelissero's numbers are correct, Bishop will enter 2013 as the 74th highest paid linebacker in the NFL.

UPDATE: Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reports that Bishop can make "up to" $1.35 million over his one-year deal.

For further context on the deal, consider that the Packers were willing to pay Bishop $1.8 million in dead money over the next two years when they agreed to release him last week.

Bishop, 28, was scheduled to make $3.464 million in base salary next season under his former Packers deal, a four-year, $19 million contract signed in January of 2011.

A one-year deal worth close to $2 million (if Bishop hits the incentives, which are likely tied to playing time) is far from starter's money. It's an obvious "prove-it" deal for a player coming off a serious injury.

As reported here at CheeseheadTV last week, recovery from a ruptured hamstring is—at best—uncertain. A high number of NFL players fail to make a full return to the game following the injury, a reality that is would seem to be reflected in Bishop's new deal.

By committing very little financially, the Vikings are taking a low-risk flier on a player who, if healthy, can be a starter in the NFL.

However, Bishop's deal was also market value this late in the NFL calendar.

Asked by CheeseheadTV whether or not Bishop's contract was a reflection of concerns over his hamstring, former NFL agent Joel Corry said the deal was a "fair one-year deal under the circumstances." He mentioned the one-year, $1.125 million deal signed by Daryl Smith, who missed all but two games in 2012 with a groin injury before landing with the Baltimore Ravens this offseason. Smith is the Jaguars' all-time leading tackler, and was an effective player for Jacksonville in 2011.

"Comparatively speaking, Bishop got the better deal," Corry said, although it's worth noting that Smith is 31 years old—roughly 2.5 years old than Bishop.

Corry said it was conceivable that Bishop could have received a one-year deal worth the veteran's minimum ($715,000 base salary) had the Kansas City Chiefs and New York Giants not shown interest in Bishop's services during the process.

"Becoming a free agent in mid-June isn't ideal," Corry said.

Overall, Bishop's base salary in 2013 was shaved by roughly $2 million. While his new money figures reflect worry with the hamstring, they are also market value for damaged goods this late in the free agency period.

Zach Kruse is a 24-year-old sports writer who contributes to Cheesehead TV, Bleacher Report and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. He also covers prep sports for the Dunn Co. News. You can reach him on Twitter @zachkruse2 or by email at [email protected].




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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (32) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Evan's picture

Hey Zach - can you confirm for me how it would have worked had Bishop reinjured his hamstring or suffered another serious injury in training camp or pre-season or whatever? Would they have been on the hook for the full amount?

Zach Kruse's picture

If Bishop re-injured the hamstring and was placed on season-ending injured reserve, he'd receive every dime of his 2013 salary. The two sides could also work out an injury settlement if the injury wasn't deemed to end his entire season and the Packers wanted to release him. He'd then get a lump sum equal to how long the injury would keep him sidelined. That's my understand, at least.

Evan's picture

If the injury was season ending, the Packers (or any team) can't just bypass IR and cut the guy outright, can they?

Stroh's picture

Not w/o allowing a reasonable amount of recovery time. Whatever the Dr. deems appropriate for the injury in question. That's why the Packers were able to release Bishop w/o a settlement. He had exceeded the length of time the Dr. had given for recovery.

If the player had an injury but continued to play w/ it, then by my understanding the team has the right to release the player in question w/o a settlement.

cow42's picture

Why wouldn't the Packers match the offer given to Bishop by the Vikings?

Gotta think he would have rather stayed in GB.

$1.5 mil seems small enough to take a gamble on the guy.

Stroh's picture

I'm sure Bishop would rather be in GB. Clearly the Packers no longer think Bishop is worth being on the roster due to the very likely re-injury. It wasn't Bishops opinion or desires that matter, only the Packers. In my fairly well informed opinion of the nature of Bishops injury, its not worth keeping him on the roster even for the vets minimum.

JakeK's picture

Quit pretending. ... You have NO inside info.

Stroh's picture

Didn't say inside info. As a former Strength and Conditioning coach, w/ a degree in exercise physiology, and having worked in a therapy clinic I do have knowledge of his injury and the remifications of it! Hence the well informed opinion!

How in the Hell did you get inside info out of what I said?! Try reading the freaking words for a change dumbass.

JakeK's picture

Leaves GB with AJ & B. Jones as starters & Francois, Lattimore & Manning as ILB depth... GB rebuilding ?? ... I know people who think GB's 2013 season is already a wash... Thompson is looking at 2015 as the next best chance... Just check all the unrestricted FAs GB has after this season... Not a good situation at all... Watch Thompson bail after a nasty 2013... Hey, an opinion shared by quite a few.

Stroh's picture

You and your alter ego, Cow don't compromise quite a few! It is in fact ONE!!

JakeK's picture

Go ahead... Continue to know little & to say little... Funny how all your aliases love to end their sentences (also) with a !!

Evan's picture

I've never once ended a sentence with an exclamation point.

Evan's picture

I mean...oh crap.

BrianD's picture

Write a letter to someone who cares:
Green Bay Packers
Mailing Address
P.O. Box 10628
Green Bay, WI 54307-0628

zeke's picture

"Hey, an opinion shared by quite a few."

As compelling as that argument is, quite a few people hold the opinion that it's unhealthy to masturbate to pictures of Jim Harbaugh in his Michigan uniform four hours a day, but that doesn't make them right. I mean, as long as the shades are drawn, who is it hurting? (You do keep the shades drawn, right?)

PACKERFREAK80's picture

This move was best for the team, Desmond will not finish the year playing

FITZCORE 1252'S EVO's picture


Calabasa's picture

Weren't the Pack offering a restructuring (pay cut) to Bish? Wonder if he, like Jennings, turned down more from the Pack before getting less on the open mkt. THAT's the true sign of GB taking the right stance during negotiations: what does the market think a player is worth?

Evan's picture

Those were the initial reports, but Bishop denied them. So who knows.

cow42's picture

I feel that the Packers did the right thing, letting him go. Once they did - it was inevitable that he was going to sign somewhere... it just happened to be the Vikings (shock).

I think all of my concern regarding this entire situation stems from the fact that I am less than excited about the guys that are going to have to take Bishop's place.

People will say "you gotta trust the opinions of professionals - guys who make these decisions for a living and know a billion X more about football than any of us fans." And I agree. But I also recognize the fact that these same professionals are the ones who have decided that AJ Hawk is an essential part of the defense.

Lattimore, Manning, Francois, Jones, and Barrington may all be healthier and more athletic that Bishop ever will be again... but not a single one of them has actually done anything for a full season. Like it or not... the Packers' best ILB might actually be AJ Hawk... and that's not cool.

It could very well end up that Jones, McJennings, EDS, NewBarcDatTiariSherrod, and Perry all step up and reach the top rung of their potential... but it's more likely that play at ILB, S, C, RT, and/or OLB will end costing this team wins.

Evan's picture

Hey Cow - do you think the Packers lack talent at ILB, S, C and RT?

I’m not sure I have a full grasp of your feeling on this issue.

I need to hear it from you one more time…

Stroh's picture

LMAO... Me too. In fact I think I need to hear it from CowPie AND his alter ego Jake, before I'm convinced.

cow42's picture

Evan - that was good.
I appreciate the slap in the face.
I deserve it, I guess.

Stroh - you're just a know-it-all douche.
But I love ya'. Sure hope that 74 days from now you can point and laugh at me and tell me "I told you so" after a Packer "w" over the 49ers. By the way - you can stop with this "alter ego" thing. I barely know how to sign up to post on a blog, let alone make up some sort of double identity. Why would anyone do that? And why would being accused of doing it be considered an insult? Just silly.

Stroh's picture

You started the alter ego bullshit not me. I am Stroh or Strohman only and if you've spent time at other sites you would know that. I would never accuse of that until I'm accused of it.

cow42's picture

yeah... um... that wasn't me.
you don't need to apologize.
it's cool.

Stroh's picture

Whatever you say... Don't hold your breath for an apology.

Lucky953's picture

You're right. Everybody is unproven until they're proven. The frequent inaccuracy in the draft among all teams proves your point. Yet, IMO there is talent at the position and I am hoping Kevin Greene develops it to the max. We can win a title this year.

redlights's picture

Yeah, they're unproven until proven. That's the develop part of the Packers.

Dudes, not all of us can post with optimism. Some of us, by nature, are just more pessimistic and the blogs allow for venting. Let's keep it rational, here and avoid being irrelevant like JS and others.

Idiot Fan's picture

I hope he's put in charge of covering Finley.

California Cheesehead's picture

I hate to ask questions that may be dumb-ass, but what of the impact of them signing another former Packer in terms of game-planning? How much more can he offer a rival, if any on top of what scouts and coaches already find out and prepare for? Weaknesses, strategies, etc.

Stroh's picture

Very little than the scouts already know. Maybe a tendency of a player or 2 in certain situations. Other than that the game planning and inside knowledge is completely overblown. That's why not many teams do what the vikes do. Do you see Pitts signing Balt players every year? HOw about Dallas signing NYG players? Only the viqueens haven't figured out that signing a rivals retreads doesn't help them game plan.

I bleed Green More's picture

When Bishop goes down and most likely he will then the Vikings will have done what the Packers would not do, let him play.

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